Tuesday, November 07, 2006

I Let My Fingers Do the Walking

...today, and used MoveOn.org's nifty phone number and script generator to make a few dozen calls from my home to voters in some tight House Districts around the country. The numbers and scripts were generated on the fly and after every few calls I'd get transferred into a new district. Before calling into a new district I'd check out the candidates' websites so I wasn't totally ignorant, but nobody I talked to was interested in chatting about the candidate. An enjoyable geography lesson if nothing else.

Here's where I called, in order, (with results added later on during the night as they came in):

New York 24 - Central New York - Michael Arcuri (D) is looking to replace Sherwood Boehlert (R) who is retiring. This district went for Bush in 2000 and 2004 but Arcuri had a small lead over Raymond Meier (R) going into the election. RESULT: Arcuri won 54-45%.

New York 26 - Western New York - Jack Davis (D) trying to unseat Tom Reynolds (R), the head of the House Republican Congressional campaign committee. Reynolds was hurt a bit by the Foley scandal but has recovered since then. This race was called a toss-up. (Hoo-boy, one of Davis's planks was to "Eliminate the Death Tax.") RESULT: Reynolds won 52-48%.

North Carolina 11 - Ashville and Western North Carolina - NFL-quarterback-washout-turned-politician Heath Shuler (D) hopes to unseat incumbent Charles Taylor (R). NY Times says the district is leaning toward Shuler. RESULT: Shuler won, 54-46%.

New Hampshire 2 - Rural New Hampshire - Paul Hodes (D) trying to knock off moderate Republican Charlie Bass. NY Times calls it a toss-up. RESULT: Hodes won, 53-45%.

Florida 22 - West Palm Beach, Boca Raton - Ron Klein (D) hopes to unseat Clay Shaw (R) in the land of the Buchanan Butterfly Ballot. This ticket-splitting district voted for Gore in 2000 and Kerry in 2004. NY Times calls it a toss-up. RESULT: Klein won, 51-47%.

Illinois 6 - Chicago western suburbs - Iraq War vet and double amputee Tammy Duckworth (D) vs. Peter Roskam (R) to see who will succeed Henry Hyde (R), one of the Clinton impeachment poobahs; the district was Bush country in 2000 and 2004. A toss-up. RESULT: Roskam won, 51-49%.

Nevada 3 - Las Vegas suburbs - US Senate staffer Tessa Hafen (D) takes on two-term incumbent Jon Porter, who is a slight favorite. RESULT: Porter won, 48-47%.

Texas 22 - Sugar Land, Houston southern suburbs - Tom DeLay's district! Democrats are running Nicholas Lampson. DeLay's name is still on the ballot -- the Republican, Shelly Sekula-Gibbs, has to run a write-in campaign -- but the district is so conservative that Lampson is only given an even chance of winning. RESULT: Lampson won, 52-42%.

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